Issue 9, Spring Passion Pinups

 

 The Spring Issue of Passion Pinups Is finally here and I’m so happy that I got featured again. You can see my name and what page number 28. wink wink. The first issue I did for Passion Pinups was the winter holiday issue last year which featured me on the front cover. I loved being on the front. If you haven’t seen my holiday winter issue last year definitely check it out here. And I’m excited to report that I have my photo in the centerfold of this issue. 

   I’ve become good friends with Chrissy( Kittens) Blake, the creator of Passion and I’ve told everyone on here how sweet she is. She know’s I’m an artist so you asked if I could send her a few photos of my pieces because she wanted to feature and  showcase my art which I thought that was so cool of her. I ended up sending her a print two of my new deck that I just created, images from my latest Victorian Steampunk jewelry/trinket box, and an oval creation that I loved making and have hanging in my vanity area That’s just a couple of the many reasons why I enjoy being part of Passion Pinups.

    Here are some of my spring photos, you might recognize some of fascinators from my wonderful friend Debra Shirley because I used her floral  but they were perfect for spring. I hope you enjoy the little teaser.

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Ok on these pages above here, you will see my Lover’s’ tarot card, my “World tarot card, and my Victorian Steampunk box images.

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Here’s a closeup of the hanging Victorian Vintage piece I made.

IMG_9038And this is the centerfold image that they used for Spring. You can see my art piece on the left.

   To get a copy of the magazine, go to @passionpinups on twitter, Passion Pinups on Instagram, etc. Contact them so they can send you the link to order and pay copy. I also want to thank Chrissy, her man Brett, and everyone involved with this magazine.

 

Interview and Feature with Debra Shirley

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FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY, I got to interview and write a feature on the extremely talented hat and fascinator designer, Debra Shirley. You all know who she is from my Victorian photoshoot I did last year, my Burlesque shoot I did last year, my recent article on her with my latest hat from her in the, “BLACK VEILED BEAUTY” article, and more. If you haven’t seen all those posts, click on her tag here or type her name into SEARCH here to see all the posts I’ve done on her. 

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Here is my interview that I did with her. I absolutely am in love with Debra and her talent!!

1. How did you get into making these gorgeous hats, fascinators, and head pieces?
1).  Princess Diana inspired my love of hats at the age of 10, when I borrowed a book on her from the library. She was so stunningly beautiful in all of the hats that she wore that I’m certain she seared my 10 year old brain into linking beauty with hat wearing.  It did not occur to me that I could design hats until I was studying fashion design in my 20’s. Whatever class that I wanted to take during the summer was full and I did not want to remain idle so I ended up taking a Millinery class to keep busy.  I quickly became enamored with the art, and the skills involved in creating came oddly natural to me.
2. How long have you been designing your art?
2).  I first studied millinery in the 1990’s, and soon after was able to start a full time job as a Milliner in a high-end Bridal Salon in Chicago, designing wedding veils and headpieces. As can sometimes happen with trying to earn a living, I lost focus on my true passion for hats and playful headwear. It wasn’t until 2014 that I decided to devote time and energy into creating hats and fascinators and getting them out into the world.
3. Did you teach yourself or take a class when you were starting out?
3).  Veronica Chin, a very talented Milliner at Burning Bush Millinery was my millinery teacher when I first started out.  I took millinery 1, and 2 which is all that the school offered. The school ended up adding a 3rd level class to its curriculum, because of the interest of myself and a few other students at the time.  I learned classic techniques such as blocking, pattern making, wiring and embellishing.  I took what I learned and expanded as much as I could. Each time you make a new piece you can learn from it.
4. What are your favorite events to create your fascinators and hats for?
4).  I love to create hats and fascinators for any event that a woman wants to dress up for and feel fabulous. That could be a day at the horse races, a polo match, a ladies luncheon or even a special photo shoot!
5. What’s your main source of inspiration?
5).  Inspiration can strike in various ways. One of my favorite ways to be inspired is to work off of the colors or details in a dress or favorite outfit. I like to pull the concepts out of the print of a garment and bring them to “life” in headwear, as if the hat is an extension of the outfit.  Sometimes I am inspired by a separate component or embellishment such as a flower or feather.  One piece can get me excited and I start looking for other pieces to go along with it, until the next thing you know, its a finished hat!
6. What’s the best compliment that you have received from a client?
6).  The best compliment that I have ever received from a hat client?  It doesn’t get any better than  “I felt so beautiful wearing your creation” the key word is “felt”. I love when women “feel” beautiful  in addition to looking beautiful.
Debra and I have developed a great relationship and I’ve probably said this before but I’m so extremely happy that I met her and have become friends with her. I hope to see her soon. I hope you enjoy her beautiful photos to give you an idea of what she can create and make sure to check out all her sites.
P.S: Thank you Debra, my talented fellow artist friend!

Holiday Gifts From Annabel Lee

   You first heard me talk about Alexandra Walden who runs the awesome blog and newsletter, http://www.meandannabellee.com/ in October. She introduced me to the Samhain Society which I wrote about here as well. If you haven’t read my post about what the Samhain Society is, definitely go check it out, but in a nutshell, the Samhain Society is a society of bloggers and website creators that love all things spooky like me, and write a lot about horror and gothic subjects. Even though not all my articles and posts here are spooky/horror related, I do write a lot of that topic and everyone who follows me here, my art site, and all my social media know that I LOVE CREATING SPOOKY DARK WORKS OF ART AND AM A HORROR LOVING WHORE!

   Besides Alexandra’s newsletter and blog, she also has an etsy shop where she makes and sells really cute gothic home-making items. For the holiday season, I recently purchased two items from her. The first thing I bought was a gift for my husband. He loves having his tea so I bought him a handmade BLACK BUTTERFLY TERRARIUM CAMEO TEA BALL INFUSER which he absolutely loved and will definitely use a lot.

   The other item I bought from her was a gift for myself. I got a Victorian Gothic Tea Cup Candle with a yummy currant scent. I bought the last Alice in Wonderland yellow and white striped cup and saucer which I was very excited about. All the Victorian cup and saucer candles are gorgeous and it was very hard for me to pick which one I wanted but when I saw the Alice in Wonderland one with the detachable saucer and that it was the last one, I immediately purchased it….and I’m very glad I did.

   If you are looking for some holiday gift ideas for your spooky or gothic loving friends or for yourself, definitely check out Alexandra’s etsy shop called, MeandAnnabelLeeShop.

“Victorian Private Show Lady” Photo Shoot Part 2

For part 2 of this shoot, my inspiration was still the “Victorian Lady” theme obviously but I wanted to dress and pose how a burlesque dancer from the early 1900’s would’ve dressed. I definitely did my research on this considering burlesque is a major passion of mine but I also took inspiration from one of my favorite television shows, “Murdoch Mysteries,” which is a brilliant Canadian show that I recommend to everyone.

I love the second hat fascinator from Debra Shirley and it worked perfectly with my Victorian corset, my fishnets that I stoned myself, and my other accessories. I wanted to do both outside and inside shots since this is a little bit more of a “PEEK A BOO” shoot but still “CLASSY AS ALWAYS!” That’s a true burlesque performer.

 

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Hope you enjoy my second photoshoot images. All makeup and hair done by myself and this my very own costume.  Photos taken by the best, Nick Sorat!

 

 

 

Victorian Lady Photo Shoot Part 1

I finally finally finally did my Victorian Lady Photoshoot. I was so excited to not only do this shoot but also I got to finally wear my handmade hat fascinators made by my friend Debra Shirley. I first mentioned Debra in a past post on how I was excited to receive her hats and you can click on her tag to see the past article. She’ll be writing a bio for my interview I’m doing with her soon.

I did two parts for this amazing shoot because I had two different costumes and looks. Also I had different inspirations for each look. Here is my first photoset look and my inspiration.

My FIRST inspiration for this shoot was my mom. My parents bought a new house not too long ago and my mom is an amazing interior decorator, even though she was never professionally trained. She just has a beautiful and amazing eye! Her theme of the new house is Victorian. She actually suggested me doing a Victorian-themed shoot because I’ve never done one before. My other inspiration, especially fashion wise, for PART ONE of this shoot was two of my favorite films, “MY FAIR LADY” and “MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS.”

I hope you enjoy these photos from PART 1 of my “VICTORIAN LADY” photoshoot. A huge thank you to Debra Shirley again for creating me these beautiful hat fascinators.

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Makeup all done by myself. Photos taken by Nick Sorat.

Vintage Lingerie

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I love buying and collecting beautiful lingerie, especially vintage lingerie. My favorite photoshoots are ones where I don beautifully made lingerie so I’m very excited to write and share this article. This post is about what I think are some of  the more popular and main staples of vintage lingerie. I also included ideas and suggestions on how to wash, upkeep and store them. 

  I wanted to first say that finding One-hundred percent true vintage pieces is not always easy but it’s fun to look up and research possible speciality places where you have a better chance of finding them. 

 There are so many varieties of lingerie out there but these are some staples and must-haves if you’re interested in learning and/or trying out vintage and retro style lingerie.

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1. Corsets- I absolutely LOVE corsets. They are so beautiful and can be worn both under and over clothing depending on the style and look you are going for. They have a more Victorian look to them which is the era that corsets were first very popular in. Modern lingerie stores like Victoria’s Secret, sell “so-called corsets” but aren’t authentic on how they’re made and are imitations. They also don’t really give you the popular hourglass shape to your body like real corsets. Authentic and real corset’s main purpose is to shape the body’s figure and are made of whale or steal boning, which Victoria Secret’s don’t sell. I still remember the first corset I ever had fitted for me. I was so excited to buy and wear it and got a lot of use out of it. There are a huge variety of corsets out there but here are some of the more popular corset styles:

Underbust- These start right under the breasts (self-explanatory) and end at your lap. They obviously don’t offer any support for the breasts but do provide your body with an hourglass shape. They also provide back support and great posture. Another benefit of underbust corsets is that they are very versatile in how you wear them. There are an endless way on how to wear them and what to wear them with. Some popular types of underbust corsets include, longline, cinchers, wide-strap corsets, bodice and waspie. Underbust corsets are usually used in waist training which is modifying  your figure semi-permanently into the hourglass shape. I recommend researching waist-training if you have any interest in it.

Overbust- Overbust corsets usually begin just under the arms and end right above the hips. They lift the breasts and reduce the waistline at the same time. They also provide the beautiful hourglass shape and great support to the back.

   If you’re looking to buy a corset, I definitely recommend researching stores and knowledgeable designers to find where you can get well made pieces. They can definitely be a little on the expensive side but you need to remember that you’re paying for the authenticity and quality that will last you a long time, rather than buy a cheap imitation that will fall apart quickly.  Also I recommend getting fitted for a corset rather than just buying one in a store or online to guarantee that you get the perfect size and shape for your body.

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2. Garters- Also known as “Suspender Belts.” To me garters with stockings are one of the sexiest lingerie staples out there. I love wearing them. The most popular debate when it comes to garter belts are metal versus plastic clasps. Metal clasps are more vintage and hold stockings up extremely well. Plastic clasps can break easily and stockings tend to slip off the plastic more. Also make sure that they are adjustable.

   There are also different ways you can wear your garter belt with stockings depending on how long you plan on wearing them. For example, if you’re planning on wearing them just in the sexy privacy of your boudoir, then a garter with four straps are the way to go because you mostly won’t be wearing it for long. If you are wearing your garter and stockings on a daily basis, or know that you’re going to be wearing them for more than an hour, you’ll probably need six adjustable straps for more support. When looking to purchase a garter belt, especially if you’ve never worn one before, I recommend going to a shop with a knowledgeable staff, rather than just purchasing it online, to make sure you get one that fits you right and gives you the right support. The staff can also be a great help on how to wear them properly and how to take care of them.

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3. Stockings- There are a HUGE variety of stockings on the market, where you can find every color and style in the world. I definitely having a variety of stockings but in my opinion, I think that nylons with seams on the back are the most popular and the most vintage looking. Black stockings are also very popular. My favorite are nude stockings with black seams and a cuban heel which is in the picture below. Cuban heels are a square edge block of a darker color that is seen above the shoe heel.

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   If you want to wear stockings with an outfit but wearing a garter belt is not an option, for example (you are donning a short dress or a tight fitting dress when you can see the belt,) they make full tights with seams as well. 

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Cleaning and Storing Vintage Lingerie:

 There are many ways to clean your lingerie, some are more eccentric than others, which you can research online. This is just my suggestion and the way I personally wash and care for them.

When washing your lingerie, you have to be very delicate. You don’t want to throw your nice stockings or belt in a washing machine with your towels and jeans. They will get DESTROYED! Definitely read the wash instructions on anything you buy, especially if you are buying a more expensive piece. For my corsets or any tops with details such as sequins, crystals, bows, etc., I get them dry cleaned. And for stockings, nylons, and garter belts I always hand wash them with gentle detergent and then hang them up to dry. I also use cold water because hot water can be too harsh on your delicates and ruin them. 

   There are a few different ways to store your lingerie but here are some things that are always good to do and remember. For example, using regular and/or wire hangers or hangers with clips aren’t recommended because they can leave marks  or stretch out the fabric. You can buy lingerie hangers which are more soft and padded. It’s also good to keep your lingerie somewhere where it can breathe and to keep it out of the sunlight in a nice cool place.

   I hope these ideas and suggestions help you if you’re interested in buying or already have lingerie

   There are many shops and websites where you can purchase lingerie. Like I said above, if you’ve never worn any vintage style lingerie before, I recommend looking up places in your area that carry vintage pieces, like corsets, and can be fitted to your perfect measurements. Once you have a better idea, it makes it easier to shop online, even though now two brands are exactly alike when it comes to sizing. These are some of the sites that I like the most and have amazing lingerie. Definitely check them out.

 

http://www.darkgarden.com

http://www.whatkatiedid.com

http://www.secretsinlace.com

http://www.truecorset.com